france pavilion expo 2020
Three major French luxury houses are to display their tableware, depicting 'art de vivre' at the France Pavilion. Image Credit: Twitter/@francedubai2020

Dubai: Expo 2020 Dubai's France Pavilion will offer a glimpse of ‘art de vivre’ from November 5 to December 6, 2021, highlighting French culture through the art of fine tableware. This would be a temporary exhibition that will enhance crystal creations with professional scenography and guide visitors through the process of how intricate glassware is made.

Baccarat, Bernardaud and Christofle, three major French luxury houses, are set to be the main contributors of the materials. The exhibition will also explore how modernity is shifting French tradition and tableware itself.

The France Pavilion’s theme of ‘France, Lightspeed Inspiration’ aspires to lead visitors along an illuminated path, educating them about French innovations that have benefited humankind. Accomplishments have been made in the fields of science, research, technology, arts and education.

What is the French ‘art de vivre’?

‘Art de vivre’ translates to the art of living, a concept that is tied to enjoying life to its fullest. In French culture, this is associated mainly with the luxury goods industry, if not the luxury of valuing the little things in life. It signifies taste, aesthetics and attention to detail, and dates back to the court of King Louis XIV of France, who reigned from 1774 to 1792.

king louis xvi
King Louis XVI Image Credit: Shutterstock

King Louis XVI’s passion for fashion seeped past his royal court and into the luxury industry. This included not only table accessories, but also furniture, clothes, jewellery and textiles and employed more than one-third of working Parisians.

He called for new fashion lines to be introduced twice a year, which birthed modern fashion shows and seasonal collections. This was France’s ascent to becoming one of the world’s luxury capitals – a title it holds to this day.

french court
King Louis XVI’s passion for fashion seeped past his royal court and into the luxury industry. Pictured is Petit Trianon, a château gifted to Marie Antoinette by the king close to his Palace of Versailles, used for illustrative purposes only. Image Credit: Shutterstock

Five unique art exhibitions

Every month, the pavilion will stage temporary exhibitions that will teach you about French expertise in different areas - the art de vivre is just one of them.

From October 1 to November 1, 2021, for instance, you can see the ‘Notre-Dame de Paris, l’Experience,’ which is a stroll through the history of the Notre-Dame de Paris cathedral from the time it was first imagined to its relevance today. You will even be able to attend the coronation of Napoleon through augmented reality.

From December 12, 2021 to January 15, 2022, the ‘Chromosaturation Room’ will drown you in red, green and blue as you step into three chambers. The world around you will change based on your movement, making the encounter interactive and personal.

france pavilion expo
Artist Carlos Cruz-Diez will take visitors into three chambers of red, green and blue. Image Credit: France Pavilion/Atelier Cruz-Diez Paris

Another event would be ‘La Société du Grand Paris,’ which would run between January 21 and February 19, 2022. It will reveal the Grand Paris Express as a marvel of French architecture, mobility and urban planning. The automated subway lines are dubbed as the project of the century, and you’ll be able to see them there as a 360-degree projection.

Lastly, we cannot talk about the French way of life without discussing fashion. So, the final exhibition from February 25 to March 31, 2022 is going to be ‘From A to Z: the Jean Paul Gaultier primer.’ It’ll retrace the steps of Jean Paul Gaultier, 50 years into his legendary fashion designing career, unveiling the genius behind his iconic pieces.

- The writer is an intern with Gulf News.